Animal transports

As an animal lover, I often try to find as many ways as possible to help aid my furry friends. My most recent volunteer work has included helping with transports. These  transports are organized by some incredible people. Volunteers generously donate their time and gas to sign up for a leg, which is about an hour drive. The animals are handed off from leg to leg until they make their destination, typically a rescue, foster or even adopter. These lucky felines and canines are often on an urgent list in high-kill shelters in the south, and saved from euthanasia. 

Here are a few ways that YOU can help! 
> Foster! Fostering for a rescue allows you to take an animal in and help adopt them out. Often rescues will pay for the animal's needs so that their fosters are not financially responsible. It is hard to predict how long each animal needs foster care but kittens and puppies get adopted quickly, foster care is sometimes only needed for a few days to a week. 

> Transport! Say you cannot have a pet due to apartment restrictions, allergies, or lack of time, there are an overwhelming amount of kill shelters in the south that do not give these animals the time they need to get adopted. Often rescues in the north will pull from the south and need transport or adopters are in a different location from the shelter and need help getting the animal they want to adopt. There are so many transport groups that create chains of transport so each chain is only driving 1 hour of the commute. If you are not busy on any given day, and want to help make a difference, chances are that there is a transport near you that would appreciate your help. 

>Volunteer. There are many ways to do this! Many kill shelters that have brick and mortar buildings are restricted to taking in more animals because they do not have enough volunteers to help walk, feed, and clean up after the animals once they are rescued. I volunteered at Center County PAWS a few times when I was in college and they were even thankful when someone came and did homework in a room while sitting with a dog. Another way to volunteer is to help spread the word about animals up for adoption for various rescues. I urge you to do reach out to any local rescue or animal shelter to see what you can do. Although I do not agree with kill-shelters, volunteering there means that they can have more animals on their property because there are people there to take care of the dogs. A lot of animal lives are saved because of these wonderful volunteers who work so hard to post photos and spread awareness. 

 

I present my first novel here as my first lengthy Facebook post: The Trials and Tribulations of Animal Rescuers; Ways You Can Help

I am so thankful for the kindhearted people who help on a daily basis with animal rescue! I have always loved animals and in the past years have become very involved with animal rescue in a few different forms. It is so upsetting seeing a sweet, loving animal being tossed aside, abused or left behind from cruel and selfish people. Animals are NOT disposable.I am on a mission to help find solutions to regulate the pet over-population problem so that the 7.6 MILLION animals (just in the US) do not have to be euthanized due to homelessness. Until we see that in policy, I hope that people realize it is easy to help, and even the smallest bit of volunteer work can help to save a life. Animal rescue has to be one of the most rewarding things I have done and makes me feel great to be a part of something with so many caring people.

Here are a few ways to help: 

> Foster! Fostering for a rescue allows you to take an animal in and help adopt them out. Often rescues will pay for the animal's needs so that their fosters are not financially responsible. It is hard to predict how long each animal needs foster care but kittens and puppies get adopted quickly, foster care is sometimes only needed for a few days to a week. 

> Transport! Say you cannot have a pet due to apartment restrictions, allergies, or lack of time, there are an overwhelming amount of kill shelters in the south that do not give these animals the time they need to get adopted. Often rescues in the north will pull from the south and need transport or adopters are in a different location from the shelter and need help getting the animal they want to adopt. There are so many transport groups that create chains of transport so each chain is only driving 1 hour of the commute. If you are not busy on any given day, and want to help make a difference, chances are that there is a transport near you that would appreciate your help. 

>Volunteer. There are many ways to do this! Many kill shelters that have brick and mortar buildings are restricted to taking in more animals because they do not have enough volunteers to help walk, feed, and clean up after the animals once they are rescued. I volunteered at Center County PAWS a few times when I was in college and they were even thankful when someone came and did homework in a room while sitting with a dog. Another way to volunteer is to help spread the word about animals up for adoption for various rescues. I urge you to do reach out to any local rescue or animal shelter to see what you can do. Although I do not agree with kill-shelters, volunteering there means that they can have more animals on their property because there are people there to take care of the dogs. A lot of animal lives are saved because of these wonderful volunteers who work so hard to post photos and spread awareness. 

>Donate. One of the main causes of the pet overpopulation problem (other than puppy mills- who breed irresponsibly and for profit) is that cats and dogs are not spade or neutered. There are many health benefits for animals once they are spade and neutered and obviously prevents additions to the already large number of animals that do not have homes. Even if you find homes for the puppies, it displaces a home that could have gone to another deserving dog in a shelter. Donations go to rescues for vet bills, shots, food, etc. that the rescues need to have to continue saving animal's lives. One rescue I work with reported someone throwing a small puppy over their 10 foot tall fence in the middle of the night, which caused a broken leg in 3 places. This poor puppy did not deserve that. The person who threw him, he or she probably does. The puppy now has $1,000 in vet bills, so could really use any financial help. 

>Adopt. Adopting a rescue can provide you with so many joys! I myself have a cat that was feral and is the most loving pet I have. He seems to be that much more grateful because he knew the scary and difficult life of being a stray. These mixed breed dogs or cats tend to have the best qualities of each breed in them. I had a German Shepherd/ Golden Retriever mix that was the sweetest lap dog and also such a family dog. She had all the best traits of both breeds. Mixed breed dogs also tend to live longer, probably because they do not inherit issues from inbreeding. Having a life that depends on you, thinks of you as their whole world, and loves you unconditionally is quite rewarding. 

>Photograph. This does not apply to everyone, but I am a photographer and help work with several rescues in photographing their animals. Since I started last year, the animals seem to be getting interest much more quickly and adopted out faster. This allows rescues to bring more animals in. I can do this on my own time and it only takes 10-30 mins max (granted I end up playing with all of them so it takes me longer). I am happy to do this as a volunteer and urge anyone with any set of social media/ photography/ video skills to reach out to rescues to see if they need help taking nice photos. 

There are so many ways to help, even if it is simply spreading the word. Getting informed is always important before you adopt. SAY NO TO PUPPY MILLS! I am so disappointed every time someone goes to a "farm" and adopts a puppy mill puppy. The breeding dogs are almost never given the love and affection of a kind human touch and are just used and dumped when the puppy mill owners are done with them. They do not know how to play, they are scared of people and their puppies often get killed if not adopted out in a window of time. These puppies also often have serious medical issues due to the irresponsible breeding habits. A shelter dog might cost you $50-150 in which the proceeds go to helping more animals and covers shots and spay/neuter costs, while a puppy mill dog will cost anywhere from $500- $5000 just to adopt, not to mention the medical bills that might arise due to genetic diseases and the illness they get from not being properly cared for once born. 

No matter what your time or talent, there is always a way to help. ALL LIVES MATTER! Do not EVER tell someone to stop trying because they cannot save them all. I would prefer to save 5 lives over none. I would also prefer to have a life full of value and know I did what I could instead of ignored the issue entirely.